Shakespeare’s ‘All’s Well That Ends Well’ Opens CCPT Summer Season
By Ken Kamlet
from Culver City,CA
Culver City, California--Now entering its 5th season of bringing free, professional, classical theatre to Los Angeles-area audiences, The Culver City Public Theatre (CCPT) will kick off the summer with "All’s Well That Ends Well", William Shakespeare’s romantic comedy of two unlikely lovers. Female ingenuity outwits royalty and death in this surprising and rarely-produced classic tale. Performances are scheduled for the weekends of July 19-20 and July 26-27 at 2pm in beautiful Dr. Paul Carlson Memorial Park.
Long considered one of Shakespeare’s most difficult and challenging comedies to mount, "All’s Well That Ends Well" tackles issues and concepts that are as relevant today as they were when the Bard first presented this play some 400 years ago.
Will Helena, a splendidly crafty heroine, manage to marry Bertram who she describes as her “bright, particular star” by curing the king on his deathbed? And if Bertram turns his class-conscious attentions elsewhere, what other wily ruses will she stoop to? Insightful examinations of sexism, opportunism and social standings are interwoven with a host of memorable characters as this plot twists and turns towards its climactic finish.
At the helm of this production will be Director Gregg W. Brevoort. Making his Los Angeles area debut with this production, Brevoort is the former Artistic Director of New Jersey’s Holmdel Theatre Festival and comes to CCPT following a string of critically acclaimed productions for a number of highly-regarded east coast venues including sold-out stagings of "Betrayal" and "Angel Street" (both for the Penobscot Theatre), "Redwood Curtain" (Dorset Theatre Festival) and "Richard III" (The Barnstormers).
CCPT’s newly appointed Vice President, Kyle Nudo, stars as Bertram’s braggart soldier Parolles and is particularly excited that CCPT is staging this rarely-produced masterpiece. Nudo explained, “This is considered by most scholars to be one of Shakespeare's ‘Problem Plays’ … this is one of my major considerations in the play selection process. It's a shame when pieces this wonderful are shelved. The general public deserves to see them.”
Many theatre companies shy away from "All’s Well", in part because of its large cast and many locale changes, but also because experts have had difficulty categorizing it. Most of Shakespeare’s works are clearly intended as Tragedies, Histories or Comedies. "All’s Well" arguably touches on all of these areas as well as dealing with romance and farce. But Brevoort feels strongly that this production is rising to the challenge and that the public will embrace this story. He enthuses, “Modern audiences will enjoy it because today we are more familiar with Dark Comedy as a genre.”
In addition to Nudo, other featured cast members include CCPT company members Andrea Westby as the play’s heroine Helena, CCPT President Laura Neufeld as the Countess and Tom Hyer as the King of France. New to the CCPT theatre family is guest actor Tyler Lindsay as Bertram. An experienced Shakespearean actor, Lindsay has previously starred in productions such as "Julius Caesar" and "Hamlet" (title role). The outdoor stage setting will be designed by Alicia Cohen and costumes are by RoseMarie Fabiano.
Next, CCPT will present Sophocles’ "Oedipus Rex" under the direction of Alexander Wells. A dark and chilling tragedy, it concerns a man who seeks to solve a terrible crime that has stricken his community – only to find himself implicated and a dreaded prophesy proven to be true. "Oedipus Rex" will be performed August 2-3 and 9-10 at 2pm.
Dr. Paul Carlson Memorial Park is located at the corner of Motor Avenue and Braddock Drive in historic Culver City, CA. All performances are held during the summer on Saturdays and Sundays at 2:00 p.m. The public is invited to bring their lawn chairs and blankets to attend the productions which are intended for young and adult audiences alike.
Culver City Public Theatre is sponsored by the Culver City Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Services and by generous grants from the City of Culver City and The Cultural Affairs Commission. Additional funding comes from donations from local businesses and patrons.
For general information call (310) 712-5482 or visit CCPT's official website at http://www.ccpt.org/
Culver City Public Theatre Presents “All’s Well That Ends Well”
L-R: Andrea Westby (Helena), Kyle Nudo (Parolles) and Tyler Lindsay (Bertram)
Photo Credit: Judy-Anne Goldman